Highlife are a band who manage to pull off ‘sounding like you’re having fun’, without it feeling forced at any point. From a band which hasn’t as yet made a huge splash, Best Bless showcases Highlife’s strengths and apparent lack of weaknesses. With a voice that is part Nate Reuss (The Format, fun.) and part Colin Meloy (The Decemberists), our singer Sleepy Doug Shaw keeps us interested throughout the EP’s duration, and leaves us wanting more from a band very much in their infancy.

The EP’s consistency lies with the copious syncopated rhythms and general disregard for anything expected at all. ‘Highlife’ itself is a type of African Music characterised by a multiplicity of instruments vying for attention and that’s certainly what it sounds like at times here, and that is no bad thing at all. ‘F Kenya RIP’ would be at home during Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs and Feels era, with it’s engrossingly happy tones, and dance-happy beat. ‘Burying Stones’ is carried throughout with bouncing harmonies and Sleepy Doug Shaw’s effortless singing, which shines throughout the whole EP. It’s not just that his vocals help to carry the songs throughout Best Bless’ duration, but they add to the overall sound marvellously. ‘Tureg Dancehall’ is a romp through a night with the stars gleaming brightly in a cloudless sky. A remarkable song, given the fact that the melody is an ever-shifting mix of off-beat guitar, a simple repeated bass line, a shambolic drum beat, and background vocals which echo throughout. ‘Wet Palm Trees’ once again reminds us of dancing naked beneath some sort of wooden obelisk, and whilst slightly different in tone to the other songs here, it’s a beautiful side to Highlife that we are allowed to see, one which isn’t shown as much in the other tracks.

Highlife are without doubt a band with an awful lot to offer. Best Bless leaves us looking forward to a full length from this extremely promising and exciting band. They have a formula which seems to work exceedingly well, and are definitely a band to keep a keen eye on for the future. If they carry on with the scintillating work here on Best Bless, they won’t simply be one to watch, but one which could definitely help shake up and reconstruct a genre filled with a distinctive lack of passion. Passion is here in abundance, and Highlife may just be a band able to bring Afro-Pop back to a mainstream audience.